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Verdict Reached in 'Unite the Right' Car-Ramming Trial

James Alex Fields Jr. is guilty of first-degree murder
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2018 5:07 PM CST
People fly into the air as a vehicle is driven into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.   (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP, File)
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(Newser) – The neo-Nazi man who killed a woman last year when he plowed his car into a group of counterprotesters during a Unite the Right rally in Virginia is guilty of first-degree murder. A Charlottesville jury deliberated for about seven hours Friday before rejecting the defense’s claim that James Alex Fields Jr. acted in self-defense and convicting the 21-year-old of a premediated car attack that killed counterprotester Heather Heyer, 32, and injured 35 others, the Washington Post reports.

Jurors, who can recommend 20 years to life in prison, will reconvene Monday to determine a sentence, per the AP. In what witnesses during the trial described as an upbeat scene, counterprotesters were singing hymns and protest songs during the Aug. 12 white supremacist rally when Fields rammed into them with his Dodge Challenger. Fields’ former teacher said Fields was known for his fascination with Nazis and Adolf Hitler, according to the AP. Months before the attack, he shared a social media post that depicted a car ramming a group of protesters, which was used as evidence by prosecutors in the trial. (Read more James Alex Fields Jr. stories.)

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